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Floods hit Penal, Siparia, Cedros

Published: 
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Ramrajie Chance her common law husband Sammar Ali and their four of their five children stand on the step of their home that was surrounded by flood waters yesterday in Sunrees Road, Penal .

While T&T continues to assist its hurricane ravaged Caribbean neighbours, a call is being made for Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan to tend to their people first.

Penal councillor Shanty Boodram said since Tropical Storm Bret devastated the burgesses of the Penal/Debe Regional Corporation (PDRC) last June, they are still begging for equipment to conduct the necessary flood mitigation works.

Yesterday morning’s rain in south Trinidad was just an outer band of Hurricane Maria, which devastated the Leeward Islands. Several parts of Penal, Siparia and Cedros were flooded.

Pregnant mother Ramrajie Chance and her five children, who were left stranded in their homes in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Bret, suffered the same fate yesterday.

Chance’s home at the edge of the lagoon along Sunrees Road was 12 inches above the mauby-coloured water. Blocked from attending school, her children sat near the stairs pointing to the lilies where they saw a snake and two caiman’s earlier. Chance’s husband, Sameer Ali,said he could not risk going into the water, showing a cut on his foot he suffered yesterday. The water has also flooded their outhouse, making it especially dangerous for the children to enter.

Boodram said since 2.30 am she was getting calls from affected residents and by noon, there were at least 20 households damaged in here electoral district. She said school supplies, furniture and appliances were damaged. She said that following TS Bret, Government promised to provide the PDRC with an excavator to clear watercourses but no equipment ever came.

“I am calling on the Minister of Works and the Prime Minister today. You are helping your neighbouring countries. I see the disaster and I’m pleading for those people. But we have people here too who are pleading with you to come and help residents,” Boodram said.

PDRC chairman Dr Allen Sammy added that a major contributor to the floods was the illegal filling of land and watercourse, which has to be dealt with. He said should a storm or hurricane hit T&T; his region could suffer loss of life, livestock and property.

In Bonasse Village, Cedros, at least 20 houses were flooded near a NIDCO project site to repair a floodgate leading to the sea. Siparia Regional Corporation chairman Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh said mattresses and tarpaulins were provided to the affected families and they were making arrangements to purchase cleaning supplies.

Erin residents experienced floods as well, but by midday, most of the water had receded.